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Optimism In Anatole Broyard's Intoxicated By My Illness

596 words - 2 pages

In Anatole Broyard's Intoxicated by My Illness, instead of confronting the reality of his illness, he tries to rise above it. From the moment he found out he had been diagnosed with cancer of the prostate, Broyard was composed about it. "He felt something like relief" he says. He figures you have two choices when your life is threatened, "you can turn towards it or away from it" He turned toward it and let the illness make him even more appreciative for being alive. Although he had realized for the first time that he didn't have forever he knows that life itself has a deadline, his might just come a little sooner than other peoples'. His friends found him courageous for thinking this way.

Broyard never believed that his perspective of life had anything to do with courage, but instead with his desire to live and move on with his everyday routines. If he still had more time to live, why should he waste it by becoming depressed over the reality of things? In the 1950s, when he tried to talk his friend Jules out of commiting suicide, he began to "sell life to him" by making Jules look at all the positive aspects of living and everything life has to offer. Broyard wasn't even sure if he himself believed what he had said to his friend but now, after being in a position where death stares him in the eyes, he does.

Broyard's friends played a large role in helping him understand the best way to go about living with his illness. He did what they did not understand how to do. He enjoyed it, while they suffered from it. He said, "Since I refused to, they've taken on the responsibility of being...

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